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Interactive map reveals the locations with the highest number of second homes

Interactive map reveals the locations with the highest number of second homes

  • In Burnham Market in Norfolk, cash buyers spend up to £2m on a holiday home
  • In some parts of the country, more than one in ten houses is a second home  

Up to one in ten properties in some regions of the country are holiday homes according to new census data released by the Office of National Statistics. 

Using data from last year’s census and cross referenced with other databases, including council tax receipts, researchers have determined there are 70,000 properties in England and Wales that are primarily used as holiday homes and visited by some 200,000 people. 

Although, the people of Slough have no need to worry as there is not one registered holiday home in the area. 

Across Cornwall, there are 6,800 holiday homes – with many of those registered to people in London. 

The fascinating figures show that most Welsh people with holiday homes remain within the country. 

Many of the most popular areas with second homes are within the Peak District and Lake District national parks, or in coastal regions.  

Burnham Market in Norfolk is nicknamed Chelsea-on-Sea because of its large number of well-heeled second home owners

The villages and towns of north Norfolk have long been a hotspot for second home ownership, although locals say that demand for property in the area has surged since the pandemic.

Well-heeled buyers are attracted by the unspoiled countryside and the beautiful stretches of coastline, as well as the abundant wildlife ranging from the seals at Blakeney Point to the huge populations of migrating birds.

The large number of second homes has boosted the hospitality industry with scores of gastro pubs and restaurants competing to keep visitors and holidaymakers well fed.

But the demand for weekend retreats and holiday homes to let has forced up property prices, making it nearly impossible for key workers or first time buyers to get on the housing ladder in many areas.

Parish councillors in Burnham Market which is nicknamed Chelsea-on-Sea believe that more than half the homes in their village belong to second home owners.

aster and Docking have 130.4 holiday comes per 1,000 properties – only slightly behind Trebetherick and Whitecross in Cornwall, which have 139.5 per 1,000. 

One 65-year-old councillor in the village who asked not to be named, said: ‘There have been second home owners here since the 1930s, and they used to engage with the community with their children playing with the local kids.

Maxwell Graham-Wood who has owned Satchells independent wine merchants in Burnham Market for 33 years, said: ‘We love second home owners. They are the ones who spend the money.’ He said many people who had previously rented their second homes are now staying at them since the Covid lockdown and the difficulty in travelling abroad
Retired Metropolitan police chief inspector Peter Doolan of Hertfordshire who is staying with wife Julie in her cousin’s holiday home in Weybourne, Norfolk, said: ‘We come here once or twice a year. There are certainly a lot of holiday lets. ‘Weybourne has got a lovely pebble beach, and we can just jump on one of the Coastal Hopper buses to get around’

‘But a lot are now running their properties as furnished holiday lets which are far more lucrative than long term tenancies so there is a constant churn of people coming in.

‘Tiny workers’ cottages which used to be available to rent are now registered as furnished holiday lets (FHL) as they make much more money.

‘If people register their properties as being an FHL, they don’t have to pay council tax which has knock on effect on the local community. It means that people who live here full time have to pay more.

‘The high number of FHL properties forces up house prices. It is a pernicious circle and means local people cannot afford anything, and there are virtually no rentals available for them.

‘We have a new doctor’s surgery here, but nursing and admin staff cannot afford to live in the village. There are plenty of shops here to cater for all the visitors, but they are not much use for local people because they are too expensive and not selling the right stuff.’

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Estate agent Steve Mayes who works in Burnham Market estimated that more than one in four properties on the market in the area ended up being bought as second homes with the vast majority being purchased for cash.

He said: ‘Everyone is going in about interest rates this week, but around here only one in ten sales have a mortgage, so it does not affect the market.

Estate agent Steve Mayes who works in Burnham Market estimated that more than one in four properties on the market in the area ended up being bought as second homes with the vast majority being purchased for cash. ‘I specialise in selling properties between £500,000 and £2 million. The level of wealth pouring into north Norfolk largely since Covid is just astounding. ‘Properties costing £2million are being sold as weekend bolt holes, largely to cash buyers. The number of houses being bought as holiday lets or holiday homes is possibly as high as 35 per cent’

‘I specialise in selling properties between £500,000 and £2 million. The level of wealth pouring into north Norfolk largely since Covid is just astounding.

‘Properties costing £2million are being sold as weekend bolt holes, largely to cash buyers. The number of houses being bought as holiday lets or holiday homes is possibly as high as 35 per cent.

‘Sadly it has forced up prices. It is an undeniable fact that first time buyers and local people are pushed out. First time buyer properties are in critically short supply. It is exasperated by the demand for holiday homes within a two hour drive of London.’

But Maxwell Graham-Wood who has owned Satchells independent wine merchants in Burnham Market for 33 years, said: ‘We love second home owners. They are the ones who spend the money.

‘The whole second home and rental cottage market has changed since Covid. A lot were being rented out when there were foreign travel restrictions and there was a boom in demand for staycations.

‘Now we have noticed more owners using their homes themselves. Wealth has got nothing to do with it. We have got wines priced from £7-£9 to £500, but our sweet spot is around £12 to £15 a bottle.

‘Second home owners are just people who like coming here to play tennis, golf, sail, or go bird watching or whatever. People also choose to stay here more if they can work from home, or if they want to avoid train strikes.

‘We used to have people with a big property in London and a small place up here, but in recent years it is more common for them to have a pierre de terre in London and a bigger property here.’

Retired call centre manager Alec Maycock, 68, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, who is currently renting a two bedroom cottage in Burnham Market for ten days with wife Beverley, 67, at a cost of £960, said: ‘We love it here. The coast is fantastic and there is lots to see. This is our third time staying in Norfolk. The first time we were out in the sticks a bit, and there was nothing to do in the evening. Then we started renting in the village so we can just walk out to a pub or restaurant’

Oliver Nelson, the assistant manager at Satchells, said: ‘People make comparisons with the second home population in Cornwall, but it is very different here.

‘A lot of second home owners have lived here for years, even growing up here, and we know them on a first name basis. Their families have been here for generations.

‘When people rent holiday cottages, they love it so much that you see them returning again the same week every year.’

Retired call centre manager Alec Maycock, 68, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, who is currently renting a two bedroom cottage in Burnham Market for ten days with wife Beverley, 67, at a cost of £960, said: ‘We love it here. The coast is fantastic and there is lots to see.

‘This is our third time staying in Norfolk. The first time we were out in the sticks a bit, and there was nothing to do in the evening. Then we started renting in the village so we can just walk out to a pub or restaurant.’

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Retired teacher Mrs Maycock said: ‘We come from Yorkshire, and we usually find we get better weather here. It is a lovely place to visit for a few days. The independent shops are all wonderful.’

Motor home owner Terry Laws-Randall, 68, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, who was visiting Burnham Market while staying in nearby Heacham with the East Anglia Branch of the Motor Caravanners Club, said he was upset by the high prices in the village.

He said: ‘Where we are staying in Heacham, it is about £3 for a pint of beer, but here it is around £6. The prices are outrageous. Even just a ploughman’s lunch was £19.

‘Luckily prices are more reasonable at the fish and chip shop. We paid £14 for cod and chips with ten scampi. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lovely place to visit. It is all very pretty and the architecture is very interesting – but there is a lack of affordable pubs’

Retired engineer Alan from Colchester, Essex, who was also staying in his motorhome in Heacham, said: ‘I can see why Burnham Market is so popular with second home place.

‘There are lots of individual shops, selling stuff you won’t get anywhere else. I have just bought a couple of glasses, a little cabinet for keys and a mat for our motor home. We have driven to France, Devon and Cornwall, but this area is brilliant.’

Retired Metropolitan police chief inspector Peter Doolan of Hertfordshire who is staying with wife Julie in her cousin’s holiday home in Weybourne, Norfolk, said: ‘We come here once or twice a year. There are certainly a lot of holiday lets.

Motor home owner Terry Laws-Randall, 68, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, who was visiting Burnham Market while staying in nearby Heacham with the East Anglia Branch of the Motor Caravanners Club, said he was upset by the high prices in the village. He said: ‘Where we are staying in Heacham, it is about £3 for a pint of beer, but here it is around £6. The prices are outrageous. Even just a ploughman’s lunch was £19′

‘Weybourne has got a lovely pebble beach, and we can just jump on one of the Coastal Hopper buses to get around.’

Mrs Doolan, a retired nurse, added: ‘We love the area. The villages and countryside are beautiful.

‘The fact that it is popular with holidaymakers has possibly improved some pubs and places. The pub in Weybourne was a bit of a dump when we first started coming here, but now it is vastly improved.

‘But it must be frustrating for the locals to see all the people here in the holiday season, and see numerous empty houses in the winter.’

Half of the properties in areas such as Brancaster are believed to be either second homes or holiday lets

Helen Millin, the owner of Norfolk Hideaways which lets out 650 properties across north Norfolk and down to the Broads, said: ‘Our business has grown since the pandemic.

‘When people were able to travel during Covid, they came up here and fell in love with Norfolk. People love the beaches, the wildlife and peacefulness and the nice communities here. There is a focus on family, and people wanting to spend time together.

‘Holiday letting supports local communities and creates employment, whether it is in hospitality or catering, housekeeping or maintenance.

At least half the homes in Brancaster and nearby Brancaster Staithe which overlooks coastal marshes in north Norfolk, are believed tp be second homes or holiday lets.;

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Simon Bower, the clerk of Brancaster parish said: ‘It is very difficult to get an accurate figure, but there are certainly lots of very affluent people who buy property here.

‘A lot of them were living here all the time during lockdown, but a highish number of homes are rented out as holiday homes.

Such is the level of interest in Burnham Market, it can be difficult for locals or key workers to find property in the area

‘There is a strong sense of community and people do take part in things. It is a fairly cohesive community and there is no animosity, but it is fair to say that there is tension from time to time. Some people want to restrict the number of second homes.

‘I think the attraction of the area is that it is remote, but you can drive here from London in two and a half hours. Once you are here you can’t go anywhere else. Nobody goes to Norfolk on the way somewhere.

‘It is slightly wild with dark skies and well of the beaten track. It is a feeling of space and being able to breathe.

‘There has been a trend for cottages to be bought, and then knocked down for a new home to be built. Sometimes there are applications to build three new homes on a plot of land.’

 The figures collated by the ONS show 4.1 per cent of all second addresses can be found in areas of national beauty or national parks. 

The ONS said they only counted people living in living in England and Wales and who spent at least 30 days a year at their second address. Experts believe the true number of holiday homes could be even higher. 

Some 14,230 people stay at 6,080 holiday homes across Cornwall for at least 30 days each year. 

North Wales and Anglesey are very popular destinations, and when taking into account the small local population, they have the highest proportion of holiday homes of anywhere in England and Wales.  

The number of Britons using a domestic holiday home has increased from 42.3 per cent in 2011 to 48.5 per cent in the 2021 census. 

Surprisingly, four out of ten holiday home owners travel less than 60 miles to their second property.  One in fifty did not even leave their local authority area. 

In London, 93,650 residents said they had a holiday home in the UK, with one in four remaining within the south of England. One in ten have homes in the south west. 

The figures show that Londoners are least likely to travel to the North East or Northern Ireland. 

Whereas, almost a quarter of people from the West Midlands hop over the border to Wales – a similar percentage of those who live in the north West.  

In Gwynedd and Anglesey, the local populations have fallen since the 2011 census, while the number of holiday homes in both locations have increased. 

  • June 25, 2023